In recent weeks there has been a series of homophobic attacks in Birmingham. Most recently a man was struck by a glass bottle in the Gay Village, missing his eye by millimetres. This is another attack in our region motivated by a hatred of who a person is.
The following is a joint statement from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street and the Leader of Birmingham City Council Cllr Ian Ward.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)
“The recent abhorrent, vicious homophobic attacks in Birmingham disgust the three of us in equal measure.
“For someone to be assaulted because of who they are or who they love is simply not acceptable.
“But hate will not win and our message to the homophobes is that they do not represent Birmingham, and they never will. Everyone has a right to feel safe on our streets, no matter where they are, day or night.
“West Midlands Police has increased patrols in and around the Gay Village and the Police and Crime Commissioner has commissioned a new £200,000 service to support victims of hate crime.
“Meanwhile, Birmingham City Council is providing free hate crime training to businesses at Southside venues as well as helping to develop a space open to anyone who may be feeling vulnerable when out and about in the Gay Village and the local area.
“Whilst the West Midlands Combined Authority has been working with Southside Bid and other partners to look at issues such as CCTV and 24/7 public transport to improve night-time safety in the area.
“We are a diverse city. We are an inclusive city. We are a city that says no to crimes like these.
“The message from us could not be clearer: We are proud of our region’s diversity. We are proud of our difference. We all feel an unwavering duty to stand together, to root out these crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice.”